I have a confession to make...I am not a registered voter.
It is not something that I am proud of and I even answer queries incoherently when asked why I am not. But being a non-voter does not hinder me by actively participating in activities related to the upcoming elections.
Today, I joined concerned citizens who trooped to the office of the Commission on Elections to make sure that the environment is a key issue in the 2013 national elections. Some environmental advocates were dressed as superheroes, sending a message to political candidates that they will be watching them closely not only during this campaign period, but most importantly when they will take their oath and office.
Aside by joining assemblies , I also actively involve myself in the various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter by liking, sharing, tweeting and encouraging my friends to promote a Green Electoral Initiative so that we will know where the stand of these political candidates are. Online engagement is a powerful tool since we get to share our ideas and interact with people regarding the different election issues.
Engagement in politics of change is a two-sided coin. On one side there is that action in the electoral process through voting and on the other in becoming a part of social movements that push for reforms and campaign on issues that benefit not only the people but the environment as well. Our involvement should not stop on May 13 when we cast our votes. We should continue to ensure that the candidates who will win in the upcoming elections will push forward environmental issues that we are currently facing into concrete legislation to guarantee the safeguarding of our environment.
I may not be a registered voter, but I know I still have the right and responsibility to actively participate in the country’s political system.
Cristina Nitafan is a social networks coordinator at Greenpeace Southeast Asia based in the Philippines.